Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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July 5, 2010

Sullivan’s Salvos 7/6/10

In this edition:

*Primary Elections
*South America
*Tiffin Fest
*Did You Know?

*Primary Elections
The Primary elections are over for this year, and I have a few thoughts to share about the process:

One issue for me is that of the nominating process. It is not uncommon for a party to have no nominees in the primary, then fill the slot later by petition. It seems to me that those candidates ought to have to run without the (D) or (R) behind their names. They should not be rewarded for skipping a key part of the process. (Exceptions could be made for replacing a candidate on the ballot who has died or is unable to serve. I have no issue with that.)

Another topic: I do not like open primaries. Primaries are NOT for the general public; they are held for members of political parties. I believe that political parties should have the right to choose their own candidates without interference.

California is considering an experiment with a primary that lists all candidates on each ballot, similar to a general election. Then the top two vote getters move on to the general election, regardless of party.

I happen to believe this is a terrible idea! That is a de facto general election. Again, parties deserve to nominate their own candidates without interference.

I understand that my opinion might be more palatable if there were more than two viable parties. Many folks feel disenfranchised because they do not identify with either major party. I concede that point.

I feel even stronger about Democrats registering as Republicans (or vice versa) in some sort of Machiavellian attempt to influence the outcome of the opposing party primary. I have had friends do this before, but it is simply wrong, in my opinion. If you believe in karma, avoid this tactic!

While I feel strongly about these issues, I have trouble balancing these concerns with my strong support of same day voter registration. I think it is vitally important to our democracy that people be able to register and vote at the last minute.

Obviously, it is difficult to reconcile last-minute registration and voting with closed primaries. Some people have honestly had a change of heart, and decided to switch from one party to the other. Who am I to judge the legitimacy of a party switch? I simply cannot figure out how to resolve the conflict between these two positions.

What are your opinions on our primary system? I’d like to hear your thoughts!

*South America
I am not a big soccer fan. I stood at Kicker’s Soccer Park for over 500 games as my kids grew up, yet the sport never really captured me.

That said, the World Cup is a pretty special event, and I find myself paying some attention. Great athletes, national pride, vuvuzuelas… there seems to be something for everyone.

One interesting storyline is Europe versus South America. Both continents are well represented at the top of the soccer world. Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina all made the round of 16.

Unfortunately, I have had three instances recently where people demonstrated their ignorance of South America. It always angers me to see how little we Americans know about the rest of the world. What makes me even more angry is when people are proud of this ignorance.

I hope the World Cup gives more Americans a reason to learn about South America. Good luck to the South American teams!

*Tiffin Fest
The growing city of Tiffin is holding its annual Tiffin Fest celebration this Friday and Saturday, July 9 & 10. There is food, games, and entertainment – something for everyone.

I have mentioned Tiffin in Salvos before. It is a community that finds itself in an interesting place. There is tremendous growth in the area, and great pride in the schools. But rapid growth brings growing pains. It has not been easy, but Tiffin is moving forward. I urge you to visit this weekend and check things out for yourself!

*DID YOU KNOW? Loving County, Texas is the least populous county in the US, with 67 residents. Loving County also has the highest per capita income of any US county at $140,275. (Teton County, WY is second at $130,000.) Source: NACO.

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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